June 15:  Castro Urdiales to Laredo  Too many to count step day!!!

The group divided into three subsections today.  Jan, Nancy and Michele headed out first very soon after breakfast.  The route was to be difficult and the day hot, so they wanted to get as far as they could before the afternoon heat.  Even though the way follows the coastline, it still seems to be able to find itself climbing up into the hills -- probably to make sure that the pilgrims get a good view of the village below!

Mary went on her own and Angela and Frankie bumped up a ways by taxi to continue their training program.  Me -- foot still needs that salt water (yesterday's jaunt into the water helped heal the blisters, but it also took the bandages and some skin with the wave, so need to let some air get on those areas.)  Anyway, just like yesterday, someone had to make sure the bags got to the right hotel and what better excuse for resting than to volunteer to be the official "duffel bag to the hotel transporter".

The ride in the taxi was something -- the road zigged and zagged around the countryside climbing high in the mountain tops and then back down to the seas, only to go back up again.  On one side of the road were sheer cliffs of gray and black rock with the other side covered in lavender, roses, yellow flowering bushes, and small villages.  The hotel was buried in the purple flowering vines a block off the beach down a quiet residential street.  After distributing the duffel bags into the respective rooms, the foot healing process began.  Well, almost -- the tide was out which results in a mile walk out to sea.  A coke on the veranda seemed a better choice!

Shortly after settling in Frankie and Angela appeared showing no signs of fatigue or pain.  Their walk had been delightful culminated by a nice lunch in town before arriving at the hotel.  Jan, Nancy and Michele had taken a longer route, so their arrival wasn't until several hours later, but they too had a wonderful walk.  The whole day there had been a mist in the air both at sea level and in the hills so the views from above appeared to be mystical and surreal.  Unfortunately, Mary was not sighted for several more hours. She had taken a wrong turn in the road that lead her in circles around  the same town twice adding extra mileage to her feet.  We did not know whether to set out on foot going backwards up the trail looking for her or sit tight.  The decision was to remain in one place -- or the result may be seven lost pilgrims!!  Tired and weary, she arrived as the skies opened into a evening rain.  A good supper at the restaurant across the street, a good night sleep and all will be well in the morning.  Laredo is a rest stop!!!